03 July 2012
Click stamp to enlarge, maybe.
Commentary on this Donald Evans stamp by D. Jacob Rabinowitz:
In colloquial Dutch, Nadorp means “After the Village.” It was also the surname of a friend of Evans’s whom the artist crowned as prince of this small Northern European country. Evans created a wide range of stamps for Nadorp, featuring typically Dutch subjects ranging from ships to windmills to the vegetables found in every country garden. He also created stamp series that celebrated the principality’s luchtpost (airmail service) based on photographs of early airplanes. Evans’s Nadorp 1924 Stunt Flying in souvenir sheet (1976) celebrates the first kunstvlucht (literally art flight, or stunt flight) in Nadorp. In the world of Evans’s stamps, the flight took place at the vliegveld (airfield) of Adelshoeve in the summer of 1924.
To commemorate the occasion, Evans depicted a Blackburn Ripon biplane performing a loop-the-loop across eight stamps of a perforated sheet. To create the faintly visible cancellation mark in the center of the composition, Evans carved a unique rubber stamp using an X-Acto Knife.
In a 1975 interview, Evans explained, “I’ll cancel over the stamp to deliberately obscure things or just to be perverse, to establish a certain layer of distance from the work.” He continued, “To my knowledge there are no artists who make stamps the way I do. But there very well may be.”1
More than thirty years later, Evans’s art remains astounding, not only in terms of the intricate world it imagines, but also in terms of its distance from the 1970s New York art scene from which it emerged. Evans’s postal oeuvre, his Catalogue of the World, manages to be both comprehensive and singular.
1. Donald Evans, “A Portfolio of Stamps of the World,” Paris Review 62 (1975)